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Running on all cylinders.

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Jan. 27th, 2011 | 10:16 pm
mood: busybusy
music: Girl Talk - Let It Out | Powered by Last.fm

To keep with the car theme. Car engines have those, right?

MaRS Building atrium, Toronto. Posted today because I heart the indoors in winter.

When I started working on a capstone project in Flint, I didn't realize quite how much auto knowledge would be crossing my desk and computer screen from day to day. But so it is. One of the potential partners for the house when it's complete is the Sloan Museum* down the road, which apparently has a collection of rare autos. I have to go check this out for myself, because 1) all the museums in this area are in gorgeous modernist buildings, 2) I like this kind of stuff, and 3) it may be an attraction that my family would be interested in seeing when they visit in May. Also, so much of Flint history is intertwined with car manufacturing that I've learned it by osmosis.

The project overall is going very well, and tomorrow I get to brush off my GIS skills in order to create parcel maps of the neighborhood for an upcoming parcel survey. I'm also aggregating a number of previous worksheets that people have used for previous property surveys in Michigan in order that our team can effectively undertake one of our own. With the spread of responsibilities across our six-person team, we should be in a good position to get a draft of the final report together by early March (unless someone burns down the house again).

Other classes are also going well. In fiscal on Monday, we had the Washtenaw County Treasurer as a guest speaker. She was an i-banker for 14 years but reported to us that she likes public service way better. And she wasn't even wearing a monocle or clutching a bag of gold coins while she said it! That's sincerity, y'all. Anyhow, she spoke at length on how property taxes are collected and then divvied up between cities or townships and the county, and also all about tax foreclosures in the county. As in, there used to be almost none of them, and now there are a boatload. So ... if you're reading this, don't let your property taxes go delinquent, because I now know who will go after you. Central city planning has been a bit slow, but next week I get to choose the city that I'll write about for my final paper and presentation. Basically, I have to write 25 pages and give a presentation about the strategies that the chosen city took to get real estate investment (all kinds: retail, residential, commercial/office) in their Central Business District, so the time commitment means it needs to be a city I actually like. I'm thinking about Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, or maybe something else in the South, because we hear very little about it other than Atlanta up here in the frozen North.

Aside from that, the workout routine is going fine. The gym is usually pretty crowded when I go, but I haven't had any additional offers to share weight benches. I'm also walking between home and campus twice a day; it takes 22 minutes each way, so I think that adds some to my fitness. The increased activity has my appetite waaaay up. I inhaled an enormous burrito for dinner around 7:30 and am already thinking I'll need more food before long.

Weather-wise, it has snowed so many days in January that the days without snow are quite notable (this week, that was Monday and Tuesday only). It's been snowing steadily since at least 1:00 p.m., and it's kind of nice to cover up all the gross brown snow. Some of the new joys of winter that I've discovered this month include: having both of my car doors frozen so solidly shut that I had to enter the car through the trunk, and having the trash and recycling bins frozen into place until I was able to kick them out and trundle them down to the street. And people are moving away from Michigan why? :]

Job searching is also going as well as can be expected given that I'm in Michigan until May. There are actually a number of positions and internships in DC either being advertised or passed along to me, so there's plenty to keep me busy, and a few of them are either current or previous workplaces of people I know. Hopefully this bodes well, but I have no idea yet. I'm also building up a fearsomely detailed record of every application, contact, and organization involved in the process so that I know what I did when and which documents went with each action. So so glad that I decided to keep my course load low enough that I have time to do this properly.

Socially, lots happening too. Last weekend Erin and Amanda had a taco potluck that had a really high amount of whiskey. I fled from that near 1:00 a.m. with Vadim and his friend Pella, and we spent some time at Bab's talking about the future, broadly conceived. Looking ahead, there's a happy hour at Circus on Friday, then a round of house parties. Brian is coming to visit next weekend and I do believe I'll be taking him to Necto in addition to any planned events happening then. I also managed to frontload my work for capstone so that I don't have to go to Flint twice in the four days he's here. Instead I'll be doing the aforementioned GIS and research work, and heading to Flint on the Saturday after that. A pretty good deal if you ask me.

* Alfred Sloan was the president of GM for a long time and an all-around nutty guy.

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from: mojga
date: Jan. 28th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)

Beautifull green-blue-red banner with letters!))))))))

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